The USEA is extremely proud to announce the new inductees to join the 32 other icons of Eventing in the USEA Eventing Hall of Fame, all of whom have dedicated their lives to our sport. We wish we could include everyone who is deserving of this honor, but unfortunately the number of inductees is limited to a maximum of eight per class. We will however keep the names of all those nominated on file until the next Hall of Fame.
The following individuals will be formally inducted at the 2015 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention in Washington, DC this year. The inductees for 2015 are (in alphabetical order):
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Farm.
A horsewoman herself, Becky was passionate about the sport of Eventing. She served the USEA on the Board of Governors and on the Executive Committee. She was a trustee of the USEA Endowment Trust, serving as chair for many years. She owned numerous event horses for such great riders as Ralph Hill, Cindy Burge, Amy Tryon, Karen O’Connor and Phillip Dutton among others. A philanthropist, Becky supported many of the programs of the USEA and the USEF as well as supporting and volunteering at her local events in Area VII. Becky started The Event at Rebecca Farm at the Broussard’s world class facility in Kalispell, Montana in 2002. Today it is the largest competition in the United States and one of the largest in the world. Sadly we lost Becky in 2010, but the legacy she left the sport is immeasurable and will impact the lives of eventers for generations to come.
Photo: Ed Moore/Quince Tree Photography
One of the youngest riders ever named to an international Team, Mike finished 13th at the 1978 World Championships at only 18 years-old and then went on to ride at the 1980 Olympic Games on one of the youngest horses in the competition, his little mare Gold Chip. In 1987, Mike won the individual gold medal at the Pan American Games on Quartermaster also helping the team secure the gold medal. He represented the U.S. at the 1990 and 1994 World Equestrian Games. Not content with just an international riding and coaching career, Mike responded to the call to serve the sport in a governance capacity. In 1989, he was elected to serve on the USEA Board of Governors, becoming the youngest ever President of the USEA in 1993, a post he held until 1995. Mike continued his dedication to the sport by serving on the USET/USEF Selection Committee twice and chairing the USEF High Performance Committee. He still serves on that committee today as well as being a long-standing member of the USEF Eventing Technical Committee. Mike is also a man of action, he fully supported the USEA’s ICP program, becoming one of the first to earn his Level IV certification. He is the current coach of the highly successful Area V Young Riders and Juniors Teams and owns and operates Gold Chip Stables in Bartonsville, Texas.
Photo courtesy of the Ms. J. Mars collection.
The support that Ms. Mars has provided for Eventing as an owner and patron is legendary. Who can forget the brilliant performances of the many international horses she has owned and made available to so many teams: Winter’s Tale, The Native, Prince Panache, Giltedge, Regal Scot, Shannon all the way up to the newest young horse to hit the limelight in recent years, the homebred Harbor Pilot, son of Shannon. There are few programs in Eventing that have not felt the quiet support of Jacquie. Her belief that the sport must pay great attention to where the next generation of Team riders and horses is coming from has been a hallmark of her commitment for decades.
Many of today’s successful riders were given the opportunity to ride in Young Riders Training Sessions with top coaches at the Gladstone headquarters of the USET back in the 1990s thanks to her efforts. Today her support for Young Riders and Young and Future Event Horses continues. She has guided the careers of many of our top international riders while at the same time bolstering the young talent and making sure they are given every opportunity to step up and take their place on the international scene. What truly makes Jacquie so valuable to our sport is the knowledge and understanding of horses that she brings to her work on the committees and task forces on which she serves so willingly. Jacquie’s lifelong contribution to the equine world, and specifically the Eventing world, is incalculable and without her the USEA would not be the successful educational organization it is today.
Richard and Vita Thompson.
Photo: USEA/Jo Whitehouse
Richard “Dick” and Vita Thompson were very special supporters of our sport. Their love of the sport and their desire to see the U.S. succeed on the international scene moved them to become event horse owners in the early days of the Eventing in the U.S. So many of our country’s finest event horses were owned by Dick and Vita and lifelong friendships were forged with such riders as Jim Wofford and Karen O’Connor, and more recently Hannah Sue Burnett. Vita and Dick were active members of the Radnor Hunt and developed a passion for the sport of Eventing devoting many hours every year to the running of the Radnor Hunt Three-Day Event.
The Thompsons bought and supported many of the most talented and successful horses in Eventing beginning with the great Castlewellan who was ridden by Jim Wofford. Jim and Castlewellan went on to win Radnor Hunt International Three-Day Event in 1982, were second at Rolex Kentucky and fifth at Burghley in 1983, feats that led to them being the reserve horse and rider for the 1984 Olympic Games. Not only did the couple generously provide financial support and horses for team selection they also volunteered to work at the Olympic Games both in 1984 and 1996. When Jim Wofford retired from active competition after the ’84 Olympics, he recommended the young Karen Lende take over the ride on Castlewellan. Karen and Castlewellan then went on to dominate the field at Chesterland the following year winning by 30 points and launching the career of one of the best international riders the US has ever had.
While the list of horses that carried the blue and emerald colors of the Thompson’s Sea Horse Farm was long and illustrious: Park Hall, Mr. Maxwell, Nos Ecus, Joker’s Wild, Upstage, to name just a few, it was Biko with his white face, noble head, immense presence and endless talent that brought the couple one of their proudest moments. Biko and Karen represented the U.S. in team competition on numerous occasions earning a team silver medal in Atlanta. In 1999, Biko was named USEA Horse of the Century for earning more lifetime points in competition than any other horse and was inducted into the USEA’s Eventing Hall of Fame in 2006. Eventing in America would not have had such a successful history without the generosity and devotion of Dick and Vita Thompson.
Margaret Lindsley Warden.
Photo courtesy of Albert Gore Research Center, Middle Tennessee State University.
Margaret Lindsley Warden organized the first event in the United States in June 1952 at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tennessee. The event was called 'The Southeast's Initial One Day Event". With the help of then Major Jonathan R. Burton, now General Burton, Miss Margaret and the General wrote all of the rules, built all of the jumps, laid out all of the venue and basically did everything that now takes a cadre of organizers, professionals and volunteers to achieve. Prior to her efforts, Eventing only existed in the U.S. in the military at Ft. Riley, Kansas. Due to her intense interest and knowledge of horses, Miss Margaret believed that this format, based on the international Olympic model, and only open to the military, could be developed for the civilian horse enthusiast. Due to the success of this first event, the following year the Three Day Trials for the Olympics were held in Nashville. Now known as the as The Middle Tennessee Pony Club Event, this event is the longest and oldest continuously running event in the United States. Miss Margaret also founded the Middle Tennessee Pony Club in 1953 and served as the D.C. and Regional Supervisor for many years. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Equestrian Team, was awarded the Wofford Cup in 1986, and The Founders Award from the United States Pony Club in 1989. Miss Margaret wrote the "Horse Sense" column for the Nashville Tennessean newspaper, and due to her writings and promotion of horsemanship and education she was one of the earliest voices for the ethical and humane treatment of horses. She was a founding member of the Nashville Opera Guild and the local historical society. Through her years of reading and collecting horse related books, prior to her death in 2007, she donated her library to Middle Tennessee State University. This collection is one of the largest single collections of books and papers on horse related topics in the country.
If you are in any way connected to present day Eventing then you owe a debt of gratitude to Miss Margaret Lindsley Warden, the founder of modern day Eventing in America. (P.S. Just in case you are wondering, General Burton was the winner of this first event!)
Photo: Mike McNally
Thom Schultz and his wife Laura Coats were on a horse buying trip to Ireland and just happened to stop by Ireland’s Young Event Horse competition at the 1998 Punchestown Three-Day Event. A very tall liver chestnut horse was being shown there and in just the couple of minutes it took to watch him jump two fences and gallop through the finish he impressed Thom enough that he arranged to try the horse. Gina Miles had just taken over as manager of Thom and Laura’s Rainbow Ranch in Paso Robles, California and when McKinlaigh (Highland King—Kilcumney Hostess, Stretchworth Lad) finally arrived in the U.S. it was agreed that Gina and McKinlaigh would work together to see how far they could go. In their first two years together, the pair won nine out of the ten events they entered and by the age of seven the Highland King son had completed his first CCI*** star and made the USEF Winter Training List. The 17.3 hand McKinlaigh placed 11th at his first CCI4* at Rolex Kentucky in 2002 which earned him a place on the U.S. Team for the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain where they finished 25th. A win in the Galway Downs CIC3*-W and another 11th place at Rolex Kentucky in 2003 saw them heading to Malmo in Sweden for the World Cup Final where McKinlaigh won the bronze medal. He improved his placing at Rolex Kentucky from 11th to 9th in 2004 and in 2006 had a bumper year placing 4th at The Fork CIC3*-W, 1st at Rebecca Farm CIC3*-W, and 1st at Fair Hill CCI3*. That year he won the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series and was the USEA’s Horse of the Year. In 2007 he was 15th at Badminton CCI4*, and was on the Gold Medal Team at the Pan Am Games in Brazil, also winning the individual bronze medal. His crowning glory came in 2008 at the Olympic Games in Hong Kong. His brilliant performance earned an Olympic silver medal for Gina, Thom and Laura and ensured his name in the history books of Eventing.
Photo: Brant Gamma.
If Dorothy Trapp Crowell had to design her horse of a lifetime she would have designed Molokai (Hawaii—Pretty Copy). Dorothy found this superstar fresh of the track as a four-year-old. As green as he was, she knew from the moment she sat on him that he was exceptional to the point that she did not want to get off him. Molokai had a very negative opinion of the dressage phase but his athleticism, his huge galloping stride and his ability to jump anything before him were to take him to the very top of the sport and see him bring home the individual silver medal from the World Equestrian Games in The Hague in 1994. Molokai took Dorothy boldly around the biggest courses in the world: Badminton, Burghley and Kentucky. He just missed a berth on the U.S. team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games due to an injury sustained in the final days leading up to the competition. But he was not to be denied his final moment of triumph when, at the very first CCI4* on U.S. soil, the 1998 Kentucky CCI4*, Molokai jumped his heart out for Dorothy and came within one rail of winning. The hometown crowd went wild for their horse and rider and were cheering loudly at every fence Molokai jumped. He and Dorothy finished in second place and received the highest prize in U.S. Eventing, the USEF Pinnacle Trophy for the highest placed American in the four-star, the first time the trophy had ever been awarded. All Molokai’s successes came in the traditional long-format in which, due to his Thoroughbred breeding, he excelled. He truly deserved his place in history having served his rider and his country well and Dorothy decided that Molokai had earned his retirement out in the bluegrass of Kentucky, a life he enjoyed until his passing in 2013 at the age of 30.
Shannon Brinkman photo.
Winsome Adante (Saunter—Juswith Genoa) is owned by Ms. Linda Wachtmeister, was ridden by Kim Severson and was bred in England by Janet and Chris Gooch. Dan, as he is called at home, made his mark from the beginning of his career. From 2000 to 2007 Dan competed in 47 competitions placing in the top three in 39 of them. He started his winning ways by placing first in the 2000 Radnor CCI2* and the next year traveled back to his birthplace to win the Blenheim Three-day Event in England. In 2002 he laid claim to his first win in the Kentucky CCI4* when it was still in the traditional long format. In 2004, he won the Chatsworth, Georgia CIC3* just two weeks before winning the second of his three Rolex Kentucky CCI4*championships. In August that same year, he and Kim took the individual silver medal at the Athens Olympic Games. He followed this up with his second Kentucky win in 2005 and in 2006 was on the Gold Medal Team at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen. His last competition was at the Badminton Horse Trials in 2007, and he did it in usual Dan style by completing his career by placing third in one of the world’s preeminent events. Winsome Adante was the USEA Horse of the Year three times, was honored by the USEF as a Horse of Honor in 2005, and his illustrious career kept him at the top of the USEA’s Historic All Time High Point Horse Leaderboard for more than ten years.